WASH replies

And the Warwick U Atheists, Secularists and Humanists have responded to Isaac Leigh’s statement for the Student Union. That statement was a lot more obfuscating than I realized.

Warwick SU has officially responded to the burgeoning controversy surrounding their decision to bar Maryam Namazie from giving a talk on campus to our society. We find that it is important to respond to this in order to represent the facts clearly and accurately in order to avoid any ambiguity or deceit. We at Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists (WASH) take serious umbrage with the claims that WarwickSU have made, namely:

“contrary to what has been communicated in the public domain over the last 24 hours, no final decision has been taken”


“I would reiterate that the process for reviewing this particular speaker event has not been completed and, once I and senior staff members have reviewed it, a further statement will be made.”

We believe that Warwick SU’s statement is unpardonably misleading. To begin with, we do not believe that any article has said a FINAL decision has been made – numerous articles document the FACT that WASH are pursuing an appeal (GuardianIndependent 1, and Independent 2). What is more, we at WASH have not once claimed that a FINAL decision (that is to say, a response to our appeal) has been made. We have always stated honestly and openly that the application was declined and we have subsequently appealed.

I forgot that they’d appealed. The decision isn’t final because they appealed.

But guess what – the SU is stonewalling. What do I mean “stonewalling”? They’re ignoring the appeal in the hopes that the whole thing will just shut up and go away.

These are the facts as they stand:
1) A guest-speaker application was made to the Students Union for Maryam Namazie to come to our society
2) A member from the Students Union emailed us a few days later explaining that the application has been rejected – citing numerous, ungrounded reasons (as stated in our previous blog post)
3) This prompted us to appeal – an appeal that was made over two weeks ago – an appeal that still hasn’t been answered.
4) Further correspondence was made to chase up the appeal – again, correspondence that was met with silence
5) Maryam was informed of this impasse
6) The matter exploded online.

6) is where we come in – we help with the exploding. Do your part – tweet, Facebook, blog, tell your friends.

According to the SU, the response we received from one of their members that: “I am afraid on this occasion we are going to have to decline authorisation for her atten[d]ance on campus” – (no.2 in the list) – somehow should not be taken as a final decision – and this somehow absolves the SU from any criticism.

These are the FACTS as they stand. We will allow you to decide if the SU should be absolved from any criticism. We still hope that the SU will indeed reverse their decision.

Benjamin David

(President of Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists)


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